5 tips to stay anonymous online4 min read
The ability to send and receive information over the internet anonymously is crucial in the digital age. Though staying anonymous online is quite a tricky task. This is a good news for cybercriminals, snoopers, and eavesdroppers. Those, who hack and monitor us, hope the majority of users take the easiest way out and do little or nothing to prevent the online identities from being discovered.
In this post, we hasten to let the sniffers down! There is a numerous amount of tools, to enforce your anonymity. Everything you need is just to choose the right one and use it when browsing the web.
Selection of a digital tool that can protect your anonymity depends on several significant points. There is a host of personal information and activities that a cybercriminal is hunting for, like emails, contact lists, instant messages, insurance policy numbers, and credit cards information. There is also a wide range of the adversaries, who are willing to get the access to your data. It may be the government, hackers, ISPs, your boss, or a third-party trader.
Finally, there are numerous ways they can cause harm to your personal data. They may read your private communications, delete or corrupt your sensitive information, or even disable your access to your personal data.
Below are five methods that will enhance your online anonymity.
1. Use a secure password
The password is the first line of defense against an unauthorized access to your personal data. It should be random enough, to defend from the most advanced attackers, and the automatic crackers they usually use. The longer the password is, the harder it is to crack. Use five or six random words for your password that is at least twelve characters long. You should avoid names and places. Include capitals, numbers and symbols to your password to make it even stronger. This will close the door to your personal data for almost every adversary, except those owned by the large organizations with big budgets, like the NSA or other spy agencies.
Remember: do not reuse any of your passwords. You don’t need to keep all of them in mind, as there are many password managers out there. Use it and you will only have to remember the master password to access it.
2. Use different email addresses
When you create the user accounts across the web, use different emails for every website. This is a good way to keep the snoopers far from your track. Make sure that emails you use for sign up, are not tied to any account that store your personal information.
Besides of the throwaway email addresses, you will need a different identity information, passwords, and password question answers for any website you are going to sign up. This is one of the main steps to strengthen your online privacy.
3. Avoid phishing attacks
Almost every minute, these days, we receive emails from the people or companies we know and trust. As a rule, we let the content of these messages pass unquestioned. The cybercriminals jump at this chance. They send a message as if it was from your friend, family, your bank, or even a computer support department. It looks safe, but, in fact, this message is malicious.
Usually, the unsafe messages contain links or attached files. If you follow such link, your computer may get infected with a malware. The attacker is able now to remotely control everything you do on your computer, e.g. record your screen, watch what you type, insert false records, and steal your personal information.
Another way hackers can cheat you on is the link, claimed to be hosted on a service like Google Docs. When you open it, you will be asked for the personal details, password or financial information. However, this link leads to a fake site. It means that any information you input here will be available to the attacker.
The best way to avoid the phishing attacks, and to protect your data, is simply not to follow any links you receive. Which is difficult to imagine these days. The more realistic way is to check the information you have received with the sender through a different channel. If you decide to follow the link, check the address bar of your browser first. A domain name has to match the site you suppose to log in. If it doesn’t, do not continue.
4. Enable a Two-factor Authentication
To get a stronger account security, enable two-factor authentication. It is an extra step to your basic login procedure that requires you to confirm your identity by two different methods. The first one includes something you know, such as a password or PIN. The second method includes something you possess or something you are. It might be a one-time code, send by SMS or your fingerprint.
In this case, the attackers will not be able to get the full access to your account, as they do not possess your device that is needed to complete the authentication. Many online services already use the 2FA (two-factor authentication). Among them are Facebook, Skype, Telegram, Bitcoin, and Google.
5. Use a strong encryption tool
These days, a secure anonymity is a matter of great importance. To keep your activities and personal information protected, you should encrypt it. The virtual private network is the easiest and the safest way to encrypt all of your data and surf the web anonymously.
VPN Unlimited allows you to disguise your online traffic. It will remain unavailable to anyone who strives to spy on you. Our service hides your real IP address as well. This should be your primary aim. Because, when disclosing your IP, the hacker can get a huge amount of your sensitive information.
Many governments are keen to have full access to their citizens’ online communications. They want to be able to eavesdrop and monitor their online activity. But, luckily they can’t censor those, who communicate over an encrypted channel. That’s why, the authorities put a huge amount of pressure on companies to keep all kinds of users activity records. We do not keep any records about what our users do through our service. There is no way to associate any activity with a user’s identity. Using our private network, you will be able to bypass censorship and snooping.
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To be continued…